Job 18

Bildad’s Second Speech[a]

Chapter 18

The Light of the Wicked Is Extinguished.

1 Then Bildad the Shuhite responded:

2 “When will you cease this torrent of words?
Once you start to think rationally,
then we can have a sensible discussion.
3 Why do you treat us like animals
and regard us as ignorant?
4 In your anger you tear yourself to pieces,
but the earth will not be forsaken on your account,
nor will a single rock be moved from its place.
5 “The light of the wicked is extinguished,
and the flame of his fire no longer shines.
6 The light in his tent begins to fade
and the lamp above him is put out.
7 His vigorous stride begins to falter
and his own plans fail miserably.
8 He rushes headlong into a net,
and his feet are ensnared.
9 “A trap seizes him by the heel,
leaving him unable to escape.
10 A noose lies hidden on the ground for him;
pitfalls lie across his path.
11 Terrors alarm him on every side,
hounding his every step.
12 His strength is weakened by hunger,
and disaster awaits him on all sides.
13 “His skin is eaten away by disease;
the firstborn of death devours his limbs.[b]
14 He is dragged from the security of his tent
and carted off to the king of terrors.[c]
15 Anyone can live in his tent since it is no longer his;
brimstone[d] is scattered over his dwelling.
16 His roots dry up below,
and his branches wither above.
17 “All memory of him vanishes from the earth;
his name is quickly forgotten.
18 He is thrust from light into darkness
and banished from the world.
19 He leaves no offspring or posterity among his people;
there is no survivor where he once lived.
20 Inhabitants of the west are appalled at his fate,
while those of the east are struck with horror.
21 Such indeed is the dwelling of the impious;
such is the home of everyone who cares nothing for God.”


  1. Job 18:1 The wrath of Job has the result of provoking Bildad to impatience. In the divine order of the universe, he says, there is no place for the problem of Job, whose words constitute a blasphemy.
  2. Job 18:13 The ancients regarded illnesses as the children of death; the allusion here, then, is to very serious illness.
  3. Job 18:14 King of terrors: i.e., death. In various civilizations the ruler of the realm of the dead was called Nergal, Pluto, or Moloch (see Isa 57:9).
  4. Job 18:15 Brimstone: an element used to disinfect a tent and remove every trace of the occupant.

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